Nuggets center Timofey Mozgov is stuck behind several talented big men in Denver.
Everyone will be focusing on the blockbuster trades this Thursday, but sometimes the ones that end up changing the fortunes of an NBA franchise are the minor deals that give contending teams the missing piece needed to make a title push.
A number of NBA veterans are available for pennies on the dollar for teams looking to improve their roster. Even the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder have weaknesses, so don't be surprised if the league's top teams make minor adjustments to improve their chances of taking home the Larry O'Brien Trophy.
When it comes to bargains, the talent of the player in question is pertinent, but so is the status of his current contract. Overpaid stars can hardly be constituted as a bargain, so that must be considered in the ranking of these bargain-bin trade targets.
Eric Maynor has struggled mightily since returning from an ACL injury this season, and he hasn't managed to reassume his role in the Oklahoma City Thunder's rotation. The point guard is shooting just 31.3 percent from the floor this season, and has fallen behind Reggie Jackson on the depth chart.
John Rohde of The Oklahoman feels the Thunder are unlikely to make any deals before the deadline, but GM Sam Presti would undoubtedly pull the trigger on anything that could improve the Thunder's prospects of winning a title this year.
Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops speculated that a deal involving Maynor and Detroit Pistons point guard Will Bynum would make sense for the Thunder. On paper, this is just a point guard swap, but Bynum offers a combination of ball handling and scoring that would liken him to a poor man's James Harden in OKC.
According to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, the Detriot Pistons have several players they would be willing to part with at the deadline. Among them, Jonas Jerebko is easily the best bargain.
Jerebko provides value as a stretch-4 on a reasonable deal which will pay him $4.5 million a year over the next two seasons. The Swedish power forward played in just 23 games this season, but is posting a PER of 13.57 and was over 14 last season.
The 25-year-old could definitely a contributing member of an NBA rotation. In particular, a team in need of some toughness would be well-served adding the hard-nosed Jerebko.
The Memphis Grizzlies have been linked to Courtney Lee, according to NBA analyst Ric Bucher. Bucher cites the need for more perimeter scoring and defense in Memphis, and says their $7.5 million trade exception could be used to bring Lee on board.
Boston is reportedly seeking a big man in exchange for Lee, who is being paid $5 million this season.
Grizzlies players that fit the bill are Ed Davis ($2.2 million) and Darrell Arthur ($3 million). It's doubtful that Memphis would want to give up on Davis, a recently acquired youngster who is posting a PER of over 18 this season, but Arthur could be available.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Charlotte Bobcats are shopping shooting guard Gerald Henderson for a first-round draft pick. Henderson, the No. 12 overall pick in the 2009 draft, is averaging 13.1 points per game on 43 percent shooting from the floor.
The Duke product is posting a PER of 15.38 this season, and at just 25 years of age, he could be a nice chip for a team in the first or second stage of a rebuild.
If no one bites on Ben Gordon, a more expensive shooting guard the Bobcats are also dangling, Henderson could be a huge addition for a contender in need of help on the wing.
Ric Bucher has also reported that Wizards shooting guard Jordan Crawford is pretty much there for the taking. A recent shooting slump has taken Crawford out of Randy Wittman's rotation, with promising rookie Bradley Beal getting more run in his absence.
Crawford's ability to put up points has never been in question, but his shot selection has been questionable throughout his career.
Adrian Wojnarowski has reported that several teams are interested, but Bucher mentioned that Crawford is the kind of player that makes talent scouts "grind their teeth." With all that in mind, it wouldn't be surprising to see a team in need of a second-unit scorer take a chance on the 24-year-old.
Phoenix Suns swingman Jared Dudley was mentioned in trade talks involving Rudy Gay, but he clearly wasn't enough to force the Grizzlies' hand.
Dudley is a good bargain, though, for a team in need of a perimeter weapon. A consummate role player with a well-rounded skill set, the Boston College product would be a valuable addition for any contender.
He is capable of defending three positions and has averaged double-figures for the last three seasons going back to 2010-11. Dudley's biggest asset, however, is his long-range game, as he is a 40 percent three-point shooter for his career.
Adrian Wojnarowski reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves would not relinquish a first-round pick in order to obtain Timofey Mozgov. More recently, the Denver Nuggets center has drawn interest from the New York Knicks, according to Marc Berman of the New York Post.
Mozgov has a lot of value to offer a team, and George Karl is high on Mozgov despite the fact the seven-footer has fallen out of the rotation in Denver, telling the Denver Post: [Timofey] works so hard and is so professional...I know he can play in this league...I just don't have 20 minutes to give him. I feel bad for him.
With the number of teams in need of rebounding and size, it's a near certainty that a GM will meet Denver's asking price for Mozgov, whatever that may be. He has played well in limited minutes, and is averaging a double-double per 36 minutes (10.5 points, 10.1 rebounds).
It's not easy to produce when playing time is sporadic, so his above-average per-minute production indicates some team could be in for a real bargain.
Luke Ridnour doesn't really have a place on a Minnesota Timberwolves team whose future lies in the hands of Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio. Expect the veteran point guard to draw interest from teams in need of a ball handler and shooter as the trade deadline approaches.
While his season averages of 12.3 points and 3.9 assists may not be overly impressive, the 10-year pro would be a perfect fit off the bench for a team lacking backcourt depth and veteran leadership.
According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the San Antonio Spurs are going to take the best final offer for power forward DeJuan Blair, one of the best undersized big men in the league.
Wojnarowski adds that Blair will not re-sign with the Spurs, making moving him imperative for the Western Conference powerhouse.
The Spurs have been unsuccessful in trying to obtain a first-round pick for the low-post banger, meaning interested parties will be able to bid low on Blair and his minuscule rookie contract.
Teams like the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat could make a run for his services, as both are in the Eastern Conference and have struggled on the boards all season long.